Should I Fall

//Should I Fall

Should I Fall

On February 29, 2012, I wrote this in my happiness journal: I really love that poem about falling, the one by Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies. Reading it before writing infuses me with soft hope.

Rilke’s bit about falling became my inspiration, my guiding light, my reason through the long journey of writing Long Climb Back. However, the poem ended up on the cutting room floor. Such is the process. Hitting the delete button gets easier after a while. Often, you save precious snippets, knowing they may find a home later. My editor thought the poem too long and dark to commence my story. Here it is:

But suppose the endlessly dead were to wake in us some emblem:
they might point to the catkins hanging from the empty hazel trees,
or direct us to the rain descending on black earth in early spring –

 and we, who always think of happiness rising,
would feel the emotion that almost baffles us
when a happy thing falls.

I relate to these images because Hugh was a happy thing, and he fell, fast, hard and suddenly. He became “endlessly dead” and it awoke in me many emblems. Death teaches you so much. It teaches you the truth about deadlines and here we are four years later; I finished that book project and am proud of the result.

On February 29, 2016, I became a married woman once more. B is a Bruce Springsteen fan. Here is a song of Springsteen’s, about falling behind, which has inspired the partnership between B and I since we started “hanging out” many years ago. My sister read it at our service:

If I Should Fall Behind

 We said we’d walk together baby come what may
That come the twilight should we lose our way
If as we’re walkin’ a hand should slip free
I’ll wait for you
And should I fall behind
Wait for me

 We swore we’d travel darlin’ side by side
We’d help each other stay in stride
But each lover’s steps fall so differently
But I’ll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me

 Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true
But you and I know what this world can do
So let’s make our steps clear that the other may see
And I’ll wait for you
If I should fall behind
Wait for me

 *Now there’s a beautiful ocean beyond the shore ahead
A short walk in the sand from where we’ll be wed
Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening breeze
I’ll wait for you
And should I fall behind
Wait for me

Falling down happens. If you’re still alive, you gotta get back up. Falling behind happens. Keep patient people around you. Falling in love? It’s always worth it.

*This stanza was modified to suit our wedding ceremony.

Photo credit Jetanne DiCola.



One Comment

  1. teresa March 2, 2016 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Beautifully written as always Rita.
    Congratulations to you both on your new journey!
    Many Blessings!

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